Warren County Residents Say Crumbling Infrastructure is a Safety Concern

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WARREN COUNTY, Iowa -- Safety concerns over failing infrastructure are growing in Warren County. Homeowners are speaking out, saying it’s time for county leaders to act before someone gets hurt.

There are between 600-700 homes in Greenfield Plaza, located in an unincorporated area of Warren County.

Homeowners that have been living in the area for decades said they've had enough of the problems.

Tom Akers, 74, has been living in Greenfield Plaza for 50 years. He said he's fed up with the infrastructure that's falling apart.

“If you were walking at nighttime, it would be very easily for anybody to get hurt. You could step there, break an ankle … you could trip on the curb,” he said. “Older people could fall and break a hand, they could crack their skull. This is very dangerous.”

Akers and his neighbors said they've been trying to get county leaders to work on the infrastructure for a long time, but leaders don't seem to care, or listen or do anything, they said. The homeowners have a message for the county board of supervisors.

“Fix Plaza the way it is supposed to be fixed. Fix the storm sewers … fix them so that they’re draining properly, and the roads,” said Akers.

“The unincorporated area is paying our taxes. Our taxes are paid on the appraised value of our homes just like anywhere else, and it’s time we get some of the services that we deserve,” said homeowner Ron Hendrix.

Tom Akers, 74, demonstrates the dangerous storm sewers. He said he's afraid children will get hurt in the conditions.

Tom Akers, 74, demonstrates the dangerous storm sewers. He said he's afraid children will get hurt the way things are now.

Akers is worried about the safety of children, too.

“Some young kid could fall into there,” he said referring to a street storm sewer. “For the supervisors to sit there and ignore this and the conditions that these are in, I would not be able to sleep if I was in their shoes knowing that this safety thing is a problem.”

Akers also notified the Warren County Health Department about the infrastructure problem a year ago. Health Services took a look and passed the concerns on to the board of supervisors.

“Warren County Board of Supervisors said that they would be working on the issues that Greenfield Plaza has. It all takes resources, time and effort to get those things done,” said Curt Coghlan, environmental health coordinator of Warren County Health and Services.

District 1 Supervisor Dean Yordi says when the Greenfield Plaza subdivision was built decades ago, the county only agreed to accept the maintenance of the streets and nothing more, and that there simply isn't the money to do anything else.